Create an originality filter

Linklater made a fascinating point in a recent interview about the way he chooses his film projects. Richard said that his filter was, if anyone can do it, he shouldn’t. That’s the true definition of originality. Not just doing what you’re good at, but doing what only you’re good at. Becoming so identified with your work that nobody could steal it, and if they did, people would know it. 

The challenge, then, is creating an originality filter of your own. A mantra or a question or a ritual superimposed over your creative process that paints you into an original corner. 

I’m friends with a commercial photographer whose visual style is unmatched. But what I found out was, whenever she takes photos of products, right before clicking the shutter, she recites her brand mantra. Three simple words that speak to who she is, what she does and why she does it. This assures that each new product added to her portfolio looks like the kind of thing she would do. This way, she tells me, the work remains consistent within her identity, yet remarkable within the world. 

That’s her originality filter. What’s yours? 

Tommaso’s legendary manifesto on the futurist art movement had his own version of this. 

Totally invalidate all kinds of imitation. Elevate all attempts at originality, however daring, however violent. Bear bravely and proudly the smear of madness with which they try to gag all innovators. And sweep the whole field of art clean of all themes and subjects that have been used in the past. 

Now that’s original. 


How do you speak to yourself about your artistic originality?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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